Police Influence on Society

Topics: Police, Law enforcement agency, Robert Peel Pages: 6 (1425 words) Published: May 10, 2015


Police Influence on Society
Erika Hall
CJA/344
Gearlean Lloyd
May 4, 2015

Police influence on society should be a positive influence because law enforcement has been put in place to protect and to serve while maintaining order within the community. The way of policing went from all white males to black and white men to females and minorities. This paper will not only entail how historical policing relates to the present but how the current relationship between officers and the community are affected mainly within the African American community or urban neighborhoods while describing the history of the three different policing eras. The United States patterned its policing practices from that of Sir Robert Peel and the Metropolitan Police by protecting its citizens for the good of all. Sir Robert Peel had Nine Principles of Policing which have transferred to the United States and practiced throughout the nations that practice modern policing. The Nine Principles: 1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder. 2. The ability of the police to perform on their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions by securing and maintaining public respect. 3. Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public. 4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionally to the necessity of the use of physical force. 5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law. 6. Police use physical force t the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient. 7. Police at times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historical tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police: the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to the duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. 8. Police should always direct their actions strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state of authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty. 9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them. These nine principles go hand in hand with the three eras of policing: Political Era, Reform Era, and Community Problem-Solving Era. Political Era and Community Problem Solving Era are closely related because they were tied closely or formed a tight knit bond with the community.

The Political Era was from 1840-1930 and provided services such as soup kitchens, shelters for families and the homeless, or helped the unemployed find jobs. Being in close proximity of one another and everyone knowing each other brought about criminal activity. These acts of crimes brought intimidation and fear, with the police free to harass citizens because of political connections. Because of the political connections, no one was held accountable for their actions which made law enforcement untouchable. Officers weren’t required to have certain standards or requirements to perform their duties; it was all about who you knew. The only training received was on the job training and through a veteran or seasoned officer and to move up the ladder was not based on job performance but through political connections or aspirations.

From 1930-1980 was the Reform Era which separated law enforcement from politics creating an enormous change within the law enforcement agency, its inner workings, and its interactions between the police and the community. Modernized capabilities such as...
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